Villars ‘Lead’ and ‘Speed’ World Cup

Another round of the IFSC World Cup took place in Villars, Switzerland, over the weekend with climbers competing in Lead and Speed. With the Tokyo games just around the corner, it was an opportunity for Olympic climbers to finesse their comp strategies and for us to get a good look at them.

Although not as severe as the deluge in Innsbruck a week before, the weekend was consistently affected by rain and humidity but thankfully this didn’t stop the show from going ahead. In the women’s Lead, Janja Garnbret and 20-year-old Laura Rogora both clipped the chains at the top of the route and Garnbret took the gold medal due to her higher placement in the semi-finals. It was the fifth consecutive win at Villars for the Slovenian superstar and her third gold medal in the space of a week. Garnbret will now step back from competitions to focus on her Olympic preparation.

Rogora’s silver was only her second medal ever after the gold she won in Briançon last year. The podium was finished by USA’s Natalia Grossman for her fifth medal of the season.

In the men’s event, none of the competitors managed to top the route but it was a good night for Team USA with Sean Bailey – the gold medalist for the Boulder event in Salt Lake City – finishing the highest and Olympian Colin Duffy finishing third. Alex Megos was in second place.

There’s an unusual amount of focus on the Speed in the lead up to Tokyo, as the event has the potential to make or break any Olympic hopefuls. The men’s and women’s finals were dominated by Russia and Indonesia. Indonesia’s Veddriq Leonardo, who holds the current men’s world record, took his second consecutive Speed win with a time of 5.329 seconds. In the women’s final, Russian Ekaterina Barashchuk took the first World Cup gold of her career with a time of 7.306.

Out of the non-speed specialists, it was only Janja Garnbret who made the final and clocked a time of 8.01.

The next IFSC World Cup takes place in Chamonix, France, from the 12th-13th July. The Olympics Speed Climbing event begins on 3rd August.

LEAD WOMEN

Gold – Janja Garnbret – SLO

Silver – Laura Rogora – ITA

Bronze – Natalia Grossman – USA

LEAD MEN

Gold – Sean Bailey – USA

Silver – Alex Megos – GER

Bronze – Colin Duffy – USA

SPEED WOMEN

Gold – Ekaterina Barashchuk – RUS

Silver – Iuliia Kaplina – RUS

Bronze – Patrycja Chudziak – POL

SPEED MEN

Gold – Veddriq Leonardo – INA

Silver – Dmitrii Timofeev – RUS

Bronze – Kiromal Katibin – INA